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7 More McDonald's Closed by Russia's Consumer Watchdog

Russia's safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has denied the closures are political, instead citing hygiene concerns as the reason for closing McDonald's branches across Russia.

McDonald's has temporarily closed seven more restaurants in Russia following mass unscheduled inspections by Russia's food safety watchdog, the company's press service has said.

The state agency previously closed three McDonald's restaurants in Moscow, one in Stavropol and one in Yekaterinburg in the Urals region, and unveiled sweeping checks at its outlets across the country.

On Thursday, McDonald's said that the Federal Consumer Protection Service had temporarily closed three more locations — one in Serpukhov in Moscow region, as well as two restaurants in Sochi.

Four McDonald's restaurants in Krasnodar were closed on Friday as well, ITAR-Tass reported, citing the company's press service.

The watchdog said it ordered the closures for sanitary reasons, but they coincided with heightened tensions over the Ukraine crisis, in which the United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia and Moscow has hit back by banning a wide range of Western food imports.

McDonald's operates 440 restaurants in Russia and considers the country one of its top seven markets outside the United States and Canada, according to its 2013 annual report. Almost 1 million people a day visit its restaurants in Russia.

Material from The Moscow Times is included in this report.

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